Authors: Lisa Olsen
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #Horror, #Occult, #Romance, #Paranormal, #Vampires
When the Sun Goes Down
Copyright © 2011 Lisa Olsen, all rights reserved.
Cover Image licensed by Depositphotos.com/Stanislav
This book is sold subject to the conditions that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, copied, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any other format or changed in any way, including the author’s name and title, and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The use of any real person, company or product names are for literary effect only and used without permission. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for third-party websites or their content.
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Thanks to my daughters, Emily for her proofing skills as usual and Brynna for helping me whittle away until I find the perfect names for everything from bartenders to book titles. Thanks to National Novel Writing Month 2011 for pushing me to ignore everything else for the month of November (though I’m sure my family doesn’t share in those thanks!). Thanks to everyone who voted on the cover art on my website, I love hearing from you guys! Thanks to Beckie Pimentel for giving the book another once over when I thought it was all done and finding a crapton of things to fix! And of course chocolate covered thanks to my husband James who takes care of all of the business and technical sides to publishing which frees me up to spend more time writing. I couldn’t do it without you, babydoll! Hearts and flowers to all!
I wasn’t strapped to the table, or in a straight jacket, though one might hav
e been a good idea in hindsight;
I just couldn’t make my limbs obey me. It felt like my entire body was weighed down
as if I’d been mountain climbing all day (not that I’ve ever done such a thing in my lifetime). I couldn’t even turn my head, which was disconcerting, especially since the hard surface at my back didn’t feel at all like my Serta
My other senses were in overdrive though
. Something strong and astringent in the air made the back of my throat tingle unpleasantly. Was my roommate up cleaning the bathroom with a bucket of bleach? No, that didn’t seem quite right
t had a different
smell I couldn’t quite place
along with an
that smelled good. L
ike the spicy aroma of Chinese food that lingers long after the last egg roll is gone.
Besides, I couldn’t picture a world in which Bridget would be up cleaning in the middle of the night.
My skin felt itchy all over, irritated by the rough material pressed up against it. Where were my warm, cuddly pajamas?
A sheet was pulled all the way up over my head
as if I’d been trying to hide in my sleep. I noticed my feet were bare
which was really odd
I always slept with at least one pair of socks on
so my feet wouldn’t freeze.
They didn’t feel cold at the time though
I didn’t feel hot or cold, just… normal, apart from the fact that I couldn’t move. I took some small comfort in the fact that I wasn’t completely
with no feeling in m
y body whatsoever.
A muffled but steady thump reached my ears, and in my foggy state I lay there trying to figure out what it was.
That’s when I realized…
I wasn’t alone.
There was someone else in the room with me
I could hear him breathing. For two seconds I forgot to breathe myself, fear paralyz
what was left of my moving body
Who was in my bedroom? Was I even in my bedroom?
Suddenly it seemed less like a weird dream and more like a dangerous situation to be in, especially when I found I couldn’t open my eyes.
A swishing sound hit my ears, like a swinging door being pushed open, footsteps echoing in its wake. “Hey, I’m here to pick up an Anja Evans?”
Only the guy mispronounced my name, with a hard “j” instead of the softer “y” sound of Ahnyah it’s supposed to sound like, so obviously I didn’t know the guy.
Also his shoes squeaked, so we definitely weren’t in my bedroom
, not that I really thought I was anymore.
vans… I don’t have an Evans
how long has she been here?” a different man answered, sounding bored
as he flipped through papers
“I don’t know, some time tonight. Are you sure you don’t have her? Maybe she’s not updated in the computer yet
hair, blue eyes
, about average height, wearing some kind of costume?”
That sounded like me alright, but costume? My hands moved a tiny bit, sliding across the heavy fabric that felt nothing like my pj’s. Why would I be dressed up in a costume?
“Oh, Jane Doe number six
ure, we’ve got her over here.” The steps got louder as they walked in my direction.
“You’ve had six unidentified females today? Are they that common here?” He sounded almost as surprised as I was. If they didn’t know who I was, that meant they hadn’t called my family or anyone yet. I was completely on my own.
“No, they’re really not. That’s why she’s only number six,
I’m over here, I’m awake…
I tried to speak
but I could
n’t make a
and my eyes
how hard I tried to force them open.
to respond sluggishly, but the
must not have noticed under the sheet.
All at once, I
realized I must be in the hospital. That would explain the uncomfortable bed, the vague disinterest about me and the smell of disinfectant. I drew some comfort from that
, because if I was drugged out or paralyzed, at least I was under a doctor’s care.
hat was my assumption
Are you sure you have the right one?
I’ll catch hell if I bring back the wrong body.
How did she die?
be dead! I could still hear, smell
. On the plus side,
, and I could
open and close my teeth
. If I could move, I couldn’t possibly be dead, but something was definitely wrong
. I swallowed uncomfortably past the lump that rose in my throat.
What had happened to me?
All too soon, the comfort of finding myself in the hospital turned to despair
nd I could feel a silent tear slip from the corner of my eye
unnoticed by the men in the room thanks to the sheet pulled up over my head.
“Ah… looks like traumatic blood loss
issue damage to the neck, died in transit to the hospital, that’s all I’ve got here. But you’re welcome to take a look before you take her.”
A millisecond before the sheet came off, my eyes popped open and a high, keening cry leaked out of me like the air out of a balloon
my only available version of a scream, I suppose. The effect was electrifying. Both men screamed, and like a switch was flipped, I felt the energy rush back into my limbs. Filling my lungs with air, I screamed right back at them, and we stared at each other,
all of us
screaming for a good ten seconds before the room got really quiet.
“You’re… you’re…” The guy dropped his clipboard as he backed up a few feet. The other man, the one who came to get me I assumed, continued to stare at me like I had just risen from the dead, which was understandable.
ere am I
?” My voice sounded shrill to my ears and I couldn’t help but wince, doing my best to swallow back my fear. I felt… wrong somehow, but I couldn’t quite identify why
inding myself in such strange surroundings was too distracting.
supposed to be dead
“I’m sorry…” slipped out reflexively, though what I had to be sorry about, I couldn’t imagine.
Shoreline was the same hospital Bridget worked at, and I wondered if she knew I was there.
I was tired of lying down and I might have said something to that effect as I pushed myself up to a seated position, but I was too busy looking at my surroundings to be sure if I’d spoken out loud. It wasn’t a hospital room as I’d assumed, but what looked like a morgue, based on my experience with
I was still
half lying on a gurney, but
a large stainless steel table
in the center of the room, with holes drilled through
for drainage of various… ugh, I didn’t want to go there. “I feel…”
, nauseous, sore, tired
“…different.” My tongue finally supplied
and I again marveled at the sound of my own voice. Was it my ears or the timbre of my voice that had changed? It was impossible to tell.
That’s understandable, you’ve been dead for over an hour,” the morgue attendant
replied distractedly, bending to pick up the clipboard.
“Oh come on
Dave, there’s obviously been a mistake. She’s no more dead than you or me. I know some folks that are going to be glad to see you up and walking around.” The other guy gave me an encouraging smile.
Walking around didn’t sound like too bad of an option
ore than anything I wanted out of the morgue with its strange smells and disturbing tables.
Despite the dizziness, I launched myself to my feet, throwing myself off balance as my muscles propelled me farther than I had intended.
I careened into the icky metal table, sending a tray of tools crashing to the ground. The sound was deafening, and I clamped my hands over my ears as I waited for it to end.
Whoa, are you sure you should be up and around?
” Smiley guy reached out to steady m
, catching hold of my elbows.
That’s when I noticed the front of my dress had been cut and gaped open, showing more of my natural assets than I cared to
outside of a beach. When I say my dress, I don’t mean
dress. I’d never seen the thing before in my life. No wonder they reported I’d been wearing a costume
I would have made the same assumption.
a scratchy, coarse linen, the color of marigolds. T
he outer layer
held up just below the shoulders by two round
with three running horses, their legs intertwined.
It was hard for me to gauge the whole effect in looking down.
Wherever it came from, they’d never get the deposit back. Besides the long cut
the chest, it was also soaked through with blood on the left side of my body.
I don’t belong here
,” I murmured, pulling myself free from his grasp
and doing my best to hold the dress closed
. Overcorrecting, I nearly fell over the other way. Trying to muster a modicum of dignity, I swallowed again, clearing my throat in search of my normal tone of voice. “
Can either of you tell me w
hat’s going on?
’m not s
his almost never happens,” Dave replied, losing some of the
stunned look from his face
I saw his eyes dip to my chest and I shot him a look.
“But it does sometimes?”
That was disturbing to hear on many levels.
Dave’s face flushed when he saw that I noticed him looking and he turned away, coughing into his hand as he approached a desk set in the far corner of the room. “Well no, not down here. Usually they catch that sort of thing up on the main floors. Um, let’s see what I can find out here.” He tapped on the computer and the other man followed to look over his shoulder. “
You were brought in a little over an hour ago
nroute to the hospital
hey tried to revive you
He’d already said that before, but it was like it had happened to someone else. “
I don’t remember any of this
I shook my head
it was starting to pound something fierce.
Smiley guy took pity on me,
fixing me with that same reassuring smile. “
You’ve been through quite a trauma
a’am. Maybe you should sit down?
” Nodding, I
the creepy tables and slid into a plastic molded chair by the swinging door. “I’m Mike Turley, I work for the medical examiner’s office with SFPD, and I’m glad to find you alive and breathing.”